DM and MM's Europe 2022 Diary

Day 1 - Sydney to Singapore

Friday, 17 June, 2022

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It's Friday night and I'm writing this from Changi Airport in Singapore. We have a bit of a story to tell.

The day began with getting up early, at 06:30 - earlier than I’ve normally been getting up lately. We had to have breakfast and then take Scully to our friends Loki and Rachel’s place for dog sitting duty. It's a bit of a drive away, so we left around 07:40 to be there by 08:30. Traffic was light and we got there a bit early but that was okay as they were ready for the day anyway, with Loki having taken their daughters to school and Rachel waiting for us. Scully was super excited to be there, as she loves our friends and (mostly) their dog Bella, and has stayed with them before. The two dogs went berserk and exhausted themselves running around excitedly and playing.

After a bit we left to drive home, leaving Scully to go on a walk with Bella and Rachel as we headed back to the car. We got home and did last minute things like watering the plants, taking the rubbish out, and packing toothbrushes into our otherwise complete luggage. Then we left to catch a train to the airport.

There have been news stories lately about huge queues at Sydney Airport, as people have started travelling again after COVID, but apparently all the staff that were laid off haven't been replaced yet, so there are staff shortages, leading to long queues at security and customs. However, when we arrived the international terminal at least seemed fairly dead. I've never seen it that quiet. And a lot of the shops and food places were closed. So we didn't have any queue trouble.

We relaxed in the Singapore Airlines lounge, which we had access to. This was nicer than sitting in the public terminal area, and we took advantage of the complimentary food and drinks. Our flight departed on time at 15:00.

Singapore Airlines Lounge, Sydney
Singapore Airlines lounge, Sydney Airport

It was a smooth flight, just over 7.5 hours to Singapore. I watched the movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which I thought was really fun. And then watched some episodes of Would I Lie to You since my attention span wasn't up to another movie, followed by an episode of Celebrity Bake-Off. Our plan was to stay awake on this flight and sleep on the second leg from Singapore to Frankfurt.

We landed around 20:45 local time (22:45 Sydney time). Our connecting flight to Frankfurt was scheduled to depart at 23:40, so we figured we had close to three hours to wait. Not too bad, although by then it would be 01:40 in Sydney, so we'd be feeling very tired, having been awake since 06:30. We disembarked from the plane and checked a departure board in the Changi Airport terminal to see what gate our next flight would be departing from. It was in the middle of the board... scheduled departure time 23:40... Delayed until 08:40.

A nine hour delay. So instead of three hours here at Changi, we have twelve hours. We confirmed the worst with some airline staff and asked if there was a hotel here in the terminal that we could stay in to get some sleep. They pointed us at the transit hotel, but said it was usually full. We went over there and inquired about any possibility of getting a room, and were told they were booked out. We noticed several other people asking the same thing, having also been caught by the same flight delay.

So, we're stuck here in the airport, extremely tired after having already been awake for 18 hours now as I type this, and unable to find a place to sleep for the next nine and a bit more hours.

This may not be the worst of it. We were supposed to land in Frankfurt at 07:00 on Saturday. From there we catch a train to Würzburg, where we were going to get a COVID test on Saturday afternoon before visiting my aunt Jenny in her nursing home on Sunday. They won't let us visit without a COVID test. But now we won't arrive in Frankfurt until 16:00, and won't get to Würzburg until at least 18:00 or later. And the place we were planning to get a COVID test from doesn't open on Sundays. So if we can't find another place that's open on Sunday morning to do a rapid COVID test, we won't be able to see Jenny. Because we have to leave first thing Monday morning to go to Cologne for my ISO photography standards meetings.

So, in summary, today was great up until we arrived in Singapore. But now it's all fallen to pieces.

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